10 Things I Wish I Would’ve Known My Freshman Year 

Allyssa Ertz, Arts and Life Editor

Everyone feels a little out of their own element heading into college.  You don’t know a whole lot of people and you may not even be sure what you want your major to be.  I definitely know how that feels.  Here’s what I wish I would’ve known when I was a freshman. 

Have an open mind. 

There is an endless number of possibilities in college life.  If you’re dismissing every new opportunity that comes your way, how will you know if they are right for you?  If you automatically reject a new club/idea when you know nothing about it, your ignorance will not reward you.  Try new things.  They may not be what you end up doing, but you’ll be one step closer to finding what you are meant to do in life. 

Be organized from the get-go. 

Because by the time you get to the end of the semester, and go, “Oh, shoot, I have a cumulative exam and don’t have a clue where all of my past exams are and don’t have any of my worksheets and oh no I’m going to fail what-am-I-going-to-do,” it’ll be too late.  You won’t need a lot of school supplies, but have a folder, binder, or notebook for each class.  It’ll make your life a thousand times easier when finals week comes. 

Take random classes. 

Learn to design a website, take photos, dive into your curiosity about acting, or even design your own logo.  Boosting your intellectual curiosity will give you new ways of thinking and teach your mind to adjust to different circumstances.  It’ll also push you outside of your comfort zone.  You’ll learn a lot about yourself through these classes.  Who knows, your inquisitive interest in bloggers might turn into you creating your own blog through your next course! 

Ask, ask, ask. 

If you don’t ask, you won’t know.  Upperclassmen know shortcuts to anything you can think of – from your four year plan, to what the best classes are, to dorm life, to personal interests.  Another place to look for class information is ratemyprofessor.com, which gives information on what each professor is like and the level of difficulty their classes are. 

Rent textbooks on Chegg.com. 

From personal experience, I can verify that this site offers GREAT deals on your textbooks for renting and buying.  If you’re not planning on keeping your book for future reference, I would definitely recommend renting on Chegg to save your cash.  Amazon is also a good place to look for cheap textbook deals. 

The world won’t end because you got a bad grade. 

If you fail a test, or have to withdraw or drop a course, it’s not the end of the world.  Life will go on, and you’ll end up learning from these instead.  You’ll be just fine! 


Everyone makes a huge deal about getting scholarships your senior year of high school, but what about the years after?  They’re still available for students going through college!  Make an effort to learn about local scholarships or follow a Facebook page that will send you possible scholarship notifications.  Scholarships may also be available for internships that you apply for, so check out some social media pages or websites within your major that may show these opportunities.  If you aren’t sure where to start with this, ask your favorite professor to help you out! 

Student Discounts 

Seriously, these are everywhere.  There’s a ton of student discounts even just around Storm Lake.  Just Googling “Student Discounts” will bring up tons of websites to show all of the different options you have all over the country.  You can search for your favorite stores to see what kinds of discounts they’ll offer here: https://www.studentbeans.com/us. 

The Freshman 15 is real. 

Going from eating a pre-portioned school lunch and your parents’ cooking to an all-you-can-eat every day buffet = bad.  From personal experience, I can confirm that the freshman 15 is absolutely 100% real, and extremely difficult to lose.  Have a plan when you head into the Servery for what you are going to eat.  Or, use an app to track what you eat.  I use MyFitnessPal to log what I eat, which has proven to be extremely helpful.  If you search the food you eat with the word “Sodexo,” our food provider, it gives all the options for BVU’s Serve.  However, I would advise to find what works best for you that you can see yourself sticking to for a long amount of time, because this will equal success. 

Just be yourself. Cliché, but true. 

Don’t be afraid to be yourself.  You’ll find where you belong this way.  As cliché as this is, it’s relevant.  Being fake or trying to be someone you’re not will only be exhausting, and you’ll feel terrible about yourself in the long run.  Instead, just do your own thing.  People will respect you having your own opinion, and for being who you truly are!